Another two episodes. One tonally inconsistent and one a great way to put yourself to sleep.

Singularity

Synopsis

The episode begins with the team preparing to go off-world as part of a mission to study a black hole. In a reversal of roles Daniel is sceptic about the point of the mission while O’Neill is looking forward to it. They arrive on the planet, named Hanka, to find it looking abandoned, and after a short walk find a dead local with clear signs of an infection. The team head to the research base and find that the resident SG team, SG-7, are all dead as well with Daniel confirming that everyone else in the area has suffered the same fate.

Fraiser and a medical team set up a decontamination area on the base before sending SG-1 out to tag bodies they find and look for any survivors. While in some long grass they hear and see movement and, after failing to get the person to come to them, send Teal’c to find the source. Teal’c discovers that it’s a young girl clearly traumatised by what has happened to the others on the planet. Back at the medical center she doesn’t respond to either Carter or Fraiser during an examination but Fraiser finds traces of the element Naquadah, the element that makes up the Stargate, in her blood. While members of the team pack up and get ready to leave the planet due to it being fully contaminated both Teal’c and O’Neill stay behind to continue the mission to study the black hole.

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At the SGC at the debrief Fraiser speculates that they may have been the cause by originally bringing the disease to the planet before it mutated and killed everyone, similar to how native of the New World died after settlers arrived. It turns out that Carter isn’t there as the girl has bonded with her and refuses to leave (while also drawing pictures of being surrounded by dead bodies while happy music plays in the background). Later on however the girl begins to speak again, asking Carter not to leave and that her name is Cassandra. She complains of stabbing pains near her hearts but Fraiser isn’t able to find anything concluding that there isn’t anything wrong, however when leaving Cassandra goes into arrest and has to be resuscitated.

On Hanka both O’Neill and Teal’c find themselves bored by the waiting, with Teal’c trying to pass the time by asking for an explanation to what a black hole is, with O’Neill providing an awful answer that basically describes the name. Finally though the time for the test arrives but they notice an object off to the side on the scope, revealing a Goa’uld mothership observing the planet. While watching they see two small objects leave the ship, with Teal’c telling O’Neill they need to leave quickly, making a run for the Stargate with two Death Gliders strafing them.

Back on the base they perform X-rays of Cassandra, finding an unknown growth in her chest. Upon surgical inspection they find it to be some kind of metal but before they’re able to go any further she almost goes into arrest again. After she recovers Carter manages to leave to go conduct tests on what they pulled out of Cassandra and find that a microscopic sample of it completely destroys the test room and fills it with radiation. This leads them to conclude that she’s being used as a body bomb to destroy the SGC. As they prepare to leave for the planet again Cassandra collapses, slipping into a coma. Just as they’re about to finish dialling out Teal’c and O’Neill make it through the Gate.

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Given that sending Cassandra through the Gate is now out of the question and that they still fear the bomb will go off they instead take her to a nearby deep storage/testing facility for nuclear weapons. Carter decides to be the one to take her to the bottom of the facility through a slow moving lift. As they begin to descend however Cassandra wakes up from her coma. Finally getting to the chamber Carter tearfully locks her inside and begins to take the lift back up to the surface but decides to go back down again, revealing to the others that she won’t leave her to die alone. When the counter reaches zero however nothing happens.

Sometime later the team are in the park with Cassandra, where O’Neill presents her with a dog with Carter revealing that Fraiser is going to look after her and most likely will keep her. After his Dog present doesn’t go down well with Carter O’Neill decides to take the Dog for a walk, also bringing Teal’c and Daniel with him while Carter decides to show Cassandra what a set of swings are.

Analysis

Singularity has always been an odd episode for me as it’s one that has completely clashing topics to cover as it sways between ‘grimdark’ and family-friendly multiple times. This is an episode, as I mentioned previously, where we get a scene with happy cheerful music playing as a young girl shows Carter a picture of dead bodies littered around. It’s just bizarre.

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I did enjoy the continuing adventures of Teal’c and O’Neill however with how the SGC trusted to two people least qualified to run a science expedition to run it and the fact Teal’c has the greatest amount of patience of anyone as he has to put up with O’Neill constant dicking around and inability to provide useful answers. Daniel on the otherhand does bugger all this episode, largely relegated to sitting in an observation room and looking shocked.

In terms of Carter I can’t help but feel her role in the episode might be slightly down to casual sexism (nothing deliberately demeaning mind you) as she’s the one who takes care of the child throughout despite having zero qualifications to do so and wasn’t even the first person Cassandra came across. Can’t help but feel it’d be more interesting (and funnier) to have seen Teal’c having to care for a young child while at the SGC while Carter stayed behind and ran the science mission.

Assorted Musings

· Despite being a fan of astronomy O’Neill’s knowledge seems to be god-awful during the episode, with his primary school level explanation of a black hole.

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· Don’t get why Fraiser is given Cassandra to care for. Surely it’d make more sense for a person on base who is a parent to take care of the child (though there might be security issues around that).

Quote of the episode: “Well a black hole is...is really...a big thing. It’s uh...basically it’s a...massive...hole... ok? Ah, and...what happens is, everything gets sucked in to it. Even light. That’s why we can’t see it. It...just...gets...sucked in...” O’Neill’s explanation of a black hole.

Cor-ai

Synopsis

The episode begins with the team arriving in a small village that Teal’c claims to have visited before with Apophis as it’s a frequent source of new hosts for the Goa’uld. Upon further exploration they find the entire place is deserted but can’t have been for long due to fires still going. While in one of the buildings however a group of people emerge with crossbow-like weapons, thinking them to be Goa’uld. Upon lowering their weapons and assuring them to be human the humans are more responsive but the leader gets more aggressive upon seeing Teal’c, stating that Teal’c killed his father. Another of the humans talks him down, stating that he’ll be put on ‘Cor-ai’.

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Outside the human elder tells SG-1 that they may leave, bar Teal’c, who shall be put before Cor-ai. Teal’c initially denies the accusation of killing the man’s father but upon being shown a walking stick he remembers executing the man who used to use it on a previous visit to the planet. After putting Teal’c in a cage Daniel explains that a Cor-ai sounds similar to a trial but is one where they presume guilt of the suspect already, with the team deciding to be all be Teal’c’s defence.

The Cor-ai gets underway with the man wanting the death penalty for Teal’c and that he will be controlling the proceedings. After they take a break O’Neill talks to Teal’c, finding that Teal’c is deliberately admitting his guilt as penance for the deaths of those he killed while in service of Apophis. Daniel instead tries to convince them to let Teal’c go as he has changed since serving under Apophis but is unsuccessful. Instead he finds out that the people of the world all flee together or not at all, meaning they’re slowed down by the elderly. On further questioning of Teal’c they find that Teal’c deliberately killed the old man because he was crippled and that if he was gone then the people would get away faster next time.

Elsewhere O’Neill decides to return to the SGC with Carter to petition for a combat unit so that they can force the people to give up Teal’c instead. However after leasing with his superiors Hammond refuses to accept the request, having to accept that Teal’c in their eyes is a war criminal and therefore have to respect the customs of the planet, regardless of how bad the trial was. Upon return to the planet however they find that the Goa’uld have attacked once again and are rounding up the villagers. Those hiding in the main building are found however but Teal’c manages to overpower the Jaffa, saving the villagers but getting wounded in the process. Seeing that Teal’c has indeed changed the man chooses to let Teal’c go.

Analysis

Cor-ai isn’t a bad episode. It’s just a very boring episode. This could’ve been an interesting episode that explored crimes committed by Teal’c before we knew him and how that has affected him as a person but instead we got 45 minutes of legal debate about the US Justice system. Hardly an action-packed topic. Nothing else to say really.

Assorted Musings

· For a group who are constantly attacked I don’t get why they haven’t buried their Stargate by now. Seems an obvious solution to be honest.

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· I’m surprised there is anyone left alive on the planet given how the person offended gets to say how a person gets punished. Seems ripe for abuse as a system.

Quote of the episode: “Colonel, the United States is not in the business of interfering in other people’s affairs.” “Since when?” Hammond and O’Neill